Manitoba's health minister says she wants to make nursing home inspection details available to the public.
Theresa Oswald responded to a CBC News I-Team investigation that found while more than one-quarter of Manitoba nursing homes that were reviewed in 2011-12 failed to meet certain provincial standards, the government currently refuses to release the results of those reviews.
"We agree that there should be more information, it should be correct and useful to the public. And that's exactly the direction we're headed," Oswald said Thursday.
The province inspects personal care homes to ensure they are meeting standards in 26 categories ranging from having a specific care plan for each resident and having qualified staff to ensuring safety and infection control.
The government presently does not say which homes fail to meet its standards and why, and whether those issues have been resolved.
Consultations into how to make that information accessible to the public will begin this spring, Oswald said.
Ontario and British Columbia post the results of their care home inspections online, so anyone can look up a facility to see how it is doing.
At least one care home in Manitoba voluntarily posts its inspection reports on its website, but doing so is not mandatory.
Oswald said she hopes to get feedback on what kinds of details people want to see about personal care homes, adding that she wants to make sure the information is released in context.
"Because without that context, or without a plan that the [personal care home] has to improve on a standard on which they may be deficient, it doesn't really help, I think, the consumer," she said.
"It could develop sort of a 'gotcha!' quality if numbers, for example, of critical incidents aren't placed in context of how many people actually live in the facility."
Some homes don't meet standards
Manitoba enacted standards regulations for personal care homes in 2005.
All care homes in the province are inspected at least every two years, with each inspection using some of the 26 performance standards. Unannounced visits are done occasionally as well.
The CBC News I-Team obtained the results from the latest round of inspections, but the results only indicate what percentage of inspected facilities met, did not meet or partially met each of the 26 standards for 2011-12. Individual homes are not named.
The results show, among other things, that 26 per cent of 125 reviewed care homes did not meet the province's standard for having an integrated patient care plan.
They also found that 27 per cent of homes did not meet, or only partially met, the standard in terms of ensuring restraints are used appropriately.
Six per cent of 46 homes that were reviewed in the disaster management category did not have an adequate plan in place.
In 2009, the provincial auditor general's office looked at Manitoba Health's oversight over personal care homes and found there was "limited reporting of [personal care home] performance results, such as the results of standard visits and information wait times."
Oswald said statistics show the performance of care homes has improved dramatically in recent years, and Manitoba will become the third province in Canada to release information about how the homes operate.
Maureen Anderson, whose husband, Chuck, died at Deer Lodge Centre in January 2012, said having information about a care home's performance is the best way to protect loved ones.
"They have to know exactly what is being done or not being done," she said.
Deer Lodge officials looked into complaints by Anderson and other residents' families and found problems with the leadership at a specific wing where the residents were staying.
Personal care home inspection summary
Below is the document with results from the Manitoba government's review of personal care homes in 2011-12: